News quietly removes Perth Now paywall

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 11.06.51 AMThe paywall for the Perth Now news website has been taken down, the first time News Corp Australia has removed a pay barrier since they were introduced to all its major newspaper brand mastheads in the middle of last year.

Mumbrella understands the paywall for the site, which houses The Sunday Times’ content, was quietly removed yesterday as part of a major refresh on the site, as it seeks to compete with the free online offerings of rivals West Australia News’ The West Australian and Fairfax’s WA Today. The move means users are no longer blocked from reading when they reach the monthly limit of free articles.

A News Corp spokeswoman refused to be drawn on the decision saying: “Shortly we will be revealing a new Perth Now design which has no impact on our current digital subscription model.

“We will keep the market up to date on any further changes we make to our site as it happens.”

As Mumbrella revealed last year, News Corp chose to dump its existing “freemium” paywall model on the Herald Sun and move to a metered model across its various tabloid print mastheads in May.

News Corp claims its digital subscriber numbers have risen to 200,000 across all its mastheads, but the publisher has consistently declined to release breakdowns of numbers on specific titles beyond the The Australian and Herald Sun saying it is not in its interests to do so.

Mumbrella understands the company is still asking people to give their subscription details as part of a broader data play. The company’s other major unmetered website is

According to Nielsen, last month WAN’s had the largest audience in the city with 972,000 users a month, News’s Perth Now had 612,000 while Fairfax had 439,000.

The company’s national broadsheet The Australian has today announced a rise in the cover price of its weekday print edition, rising from $2.20 to $2.50 on Monday. There is no change in the price of The Weekend Australian.

“We will continue to invest in our content in 2015 and beyond, and believe the cover prices for both weekday and weekend remain excellent value,” said Nicholas Gray, CEO of The Australian. “And our $12 subscription bundle, which includes all papers home delivered plus full digital access is now even better value.”

Nic Christensen 


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